is archive

DRW v. Inslee

May 2, 2018In April 2018, Disability Rights Washington and co-counsel Paukert and Troppmann filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the Department of Corrections’ practice of housing inmates with mental health needs in overly restrictive custodial settings at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Disability Rights Washington is serving as the organizational plaintiff in this case, which is ongoing.

Independent Corrections Ombuds in Washington State created

April 9, 2018On March 27, 2018 AVID joined other stakeholders for the Governor’s signing of House Bill 1889, which creates an independent corrections ombuds office in Washington.

I-940 Update

March 21, 2018In just two days’ time, state representatives pushed I-940 (also known as “De-Escalate Washington”) and House Bill 3003 through the House with a bipartisan 73-25 vote and through the Senate in a 25-24 vote, split down party lines. Together, I-940 and the agreed upon policy in ESHB 3003 strengthen and clarify the measure so that implementation goes more smoothly and the legal standards for the “good faith” standard are more clear.

Please join us: Washington State Mental Health Reform Taskforce Meetings

March 2, 2018This series of stakeholder meetings, initiated by a new agreement in the A.B. v. D.S.H.S. (Trueblood) case, are being held around the state to solicit input from stakeholders like you on what should be under consideration to make lasting change.

Locked Up and Locked Down: Segregation of Inmates with Mental Illness

September 8, 2016Between 80,000 and 100,000 inmates are currently segregated in prison cells nationwide for 22-24 hours per day, for days, months, years, and in some cases decades at a time. Segregation disproportionately affects inmates with mental illness and research shows that individuals may acquire symptoms of mental illness, or experience exacerbated symptoms of mental illness, as a result of the conditions in segregation.

New video: On The Outs

September 7, 2016On The Outs: Reentry for Inmates with Disabilities is a short documentary produced by the Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities (AVID) Prison Project.

SCORE, DRW collaboratively improve conditions for inmates with mental illness

August 30, 2016DES MOINES – South Correctional Entity (SCORE), a multi-jurisdictional jail located in Des Moines, WA, has worked collaboratively with the AVID Jail Project of Disability Rights Washington since January 2015 to make swift and significant changes to improve conditions for inmates with mental illness.

Making Hard Time Harder: Programmatic Accommodations for Inmates with Disabilities Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

June 22, 2016As many as 31 percent of U.S. inmates in state prisons report having at least one disability. Inmates with disabilities often spend more time in prison, under harsher conditions, than inmates without disabilities.

Forced Medication Behind Bars

June 14, 2016When the AVID Jail Project first began regularly visiting King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) last year, we had no idea that the jail was forcibly medicating some inmates.

Federal Court Orders State to Stop Violating Constitutional Rights of People with Mental Illness in Jail

April 2, 2015In a strongly worded opinion, the U.S. District Court in Seattle today ordered the State of Washington to cease violating constitutional rights and provide timely competency services to pre-trial detainees incarcerated in jails. The ruling came in the remedy phase of a lawsuit (A.B. v. DSHS) filed on behalf of individuals with mental illness who have been warehoused in jail for weeks and months while awaiting these court-ordered services.

Attorneys and videographers focus on inmates’ conditions, legal needs

October 27, 2014Confinement in prison or jail is especially hard for inmates with mental, developmental, physical, and sensory disabilities. These inmates may be placed in isolation for months or years, they may not benefit from prison programs that are inaccessible to them, and are frequently punished for behavior outside their control relating to a disability.

Department of Corrections partners with DRW to remove self-harm violations

July 3, 2014OLYMPIA – Beginning July 4, 2014, the Washington State Department of Corrections will no longer discipline incarcerated offenders for acts of self-harm, including attempted suicide and self-mutilation. The decision comes as the agency continues to examine the importance of ensuring the safety and security of staff while being responsive to offenders’ mental health needs.

Those with disabilities lost, forgotten in jail, report says

January 25, 2013SEATTLE - Imagine having a mental health crisis and finding yourself in a county jail, with little or no mental health treatment, isolated with no direct human contact, in a cell with no toilet or furniture for 23-24 hours a day, wearing only a smock, as days become weeks, then months, all while the symptoms of your mental illness get worse.